Each week through the Walt Disney World 50th anniversary, we will be taking a look back at various parades, entertainment, and nighttime spectaculars throughout the history of the resort. Walt Disney World has seen so many different things come and go throughout its 50 year history. So, let’s take a look back at what people remember dearly or forgot quickly.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM Studios), has a long history of different entertainment since it opened at Walt Disney World in 1989. Today, we are taking a look at the various parades that have rolled down Hollywood Boulevard.
Dinosaurs Live! Parade was a short lived parade/show that was based on the show Dinosaurs. This parade opened in September 1991 and ended just under a year later in August 1992. The main parade float featured the Sinclair family from the show. The premise of the parade was that the Sinclair family was the “chosen family of the day” during their visit to the parks. The parade would stop in front of the Chinese Theater for “filming” of the Sinclair family as part of their special day. It was a very short parade that just went up and down Hollywood Boulevard.
Aladdin’s Royal Caravan debuted in December 1992 at Disney’s MGM Studios as part of the promotional period for the Disney Feature Animation film. Every float featured the Genie, from a bathtub Genie, a split in two Genie, to a 32 foot tall Genie. This parade also featured the spinning camels that are now stationed outside Magic Carpets of Aladdin at Magic Kingdom. Disney also ran versions of this parade in Disneyland and Disneyland Paris.
Following Aladdin was Toy Story Parade! This parade debuted in November 1995 right alongside the film which is something Disney doesn’t typically do. Toy Story was not your typical film though. The parade overall was rather simple and featured characters from the film including Woody, Buzz, Hamm, Mr. Potato Head and more. This parade ran until 1997.
Replacing the Toy Story Parade was the Hercules Victory Parade! This parade debuted in June 1997 and ran until 1998. There were versions of this parade in Disneyland, Hollywood Studios, Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris. At the studios, a “Theban Family of the Day” was chosen to head the parade wearing togas, leaf crowns and ride in a gold chariot. A gospel revival/pep-rally followed. Other floats featured cheerleaders and a giant Cyclops. Phil, Meg and Pegasus made appearances and an angry Hades blew smoke from his head.
Up next, we have the Mulan parade! This parade debuted in June 1998 replacing Hercules and ran until March 2001. The parade began with Mushu leading the way, then followed by a matchmaker and corps of future brides. Warriors returning from battles hoisted a captured Shan Yu on their shoulders and then were followed by a 150 long dragon that represented the Great Wall of China. A victory celebration would follow with street performers and a Chinese lion. Disneyland and Disneyland Paris also had versions of this parade.
Disney Stars and Motor Cars followed Mulan debuting in 2001. This parade was part of Walt Disney World’s 100 Years of Magic Celebration. Highly themed cards made their way down the streets of Hollywood Studios with characters of all types on board. During the holiday season the parade became “Hollywood Holly-day Parade.” The parade ended its run in March 2008. After it closed at Walt Disney World part of the parade moved to Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris. Stars and Motor Cars featured the following characters and films: Cars, Toy Story, Mary Poppins, Muppets, Star Wars, Mulan, Monsters Inc., Aladdin, Hercules, Villains, Atlantis, The Little Mermaid, Playhouse Disney, and Snow White.
Opening in 2008 was Block Party Bash. This hybrid show and parade was first performed at Disney California Adventure but was moved to Hollywood Studios. The premise was a high energy party for guests to sing and dance along. The parade featured characters from Toy Story, The Incredibles, A Bug’s Life, and Monsters Inc. Also featured were dancers, bikers, and trampoline artists. This parade closed in January 2011 but was retooled to Pixar Pals: Countdown to Fun which ran until 2013.
The last parade Hollywood Studios has had to date was the Frozen Royal Welcome Parade. This ran during the Frozen Summer Fun event in 2014 and 2015 and was more a cavalcade than anything. Anna and Elsa waved to guests from a horse drawn sleigh followed by Kristoff. In 2015 the parade was upgraded with more specific Frozen theme floats. Olaf appeared in his own float that was repurposed from Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas Parade. Versions of this also ran in Tokyo and Paris.
- Dinosaurs Live | Keep Hollywood Studios Weird
- Aladdin’s Royal Caravan
- Extinct Attractions – Toy Story Parade
- Hercules Victory Parade
- Vintage Walt Disney World: A ‘Zero to Hero’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Disney’s Hollywood Studio Archives Mulan: The Parade
- Block Party Bash
- Frozen Royal Welcome Parade
- Making Memories: Cinderella Castle Takes on New Light
- Making Memories: A Celebration of Nations and Dreams
- Making Memories: Seeing the Stars at the Studios!
- Making Memories: Its Time to Dream and Celebrate
- Making Memories: The Night Comes Alive at Animal Kingdom